An east Belfast father and his two sons admitted allowing a cat to be torn to shreds by dogs trained to fight. The Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) said the savagery inflicted on innocent animals was "wickedness at its worst".
The family avoided jail on Thursday (March 13 2014) when the men were each handed six-month suspended sentences.
Jeremiah Kirkwood, 43, and sons Chris, 23, and Wayne, 20, admitted keeping animals for fighting. They also pleaded guilty to having equipment connected with animal fights and causing unnecessary suffering to four puppies. Video clips have been found on the mens phones showing a cat literarlly being thorn to shreds.
Dear John Larkin QC Attorney General for Northern Ireland We ask that you act on our behalf and ask that the sentence handed out today 13th March 2014 to Jeremiah Kirkwood, Christopher Kirkwood, Wayne Kirkwood and Jamie McAllister is reviewed. In our opinion the Judge Presiding did not hand down the correct sentence, This is a crime against defenceless animals and it is my opinion that if this sentence is not reviewed we will be sending out the wrong message to our society. We are appalled that these four men were only banned from keeping animals for ten years when a life ban would have been more suited, A Custodial Sentence is the only acceptable Punishment for "one of the vilest examples of PREMEDITATED abuse" on animals ever seen in Northern Ireland. Please see that our trust in you is not lost and that you take this issue as serious as we do.